According to Social Examiner’s 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, more than half of its 3,720 respondents were able to reduce marketing expenses with social media marketing (SMM). That’s great news for all of us who already dedicate time to social marketing initiatives, but how exactly does it work? Read on as Launch’s social media specialist, Somer Klepper, expands on this finding.
Q: How is it that the marketers from this survey are cutting costs by spending 6 hours a week on social media?
Let me begin by saying that at least six hours a week is essential for success. People frequently put social media on the backburner, not realizing the impact that social media can have on a brand. This may be because social media is still a relatively new method of marketing, in comparison to methods like direct mail or email campaigns. Furthermore, there are no clear standards for social media metrics to measure against—there are no CTR (click thru rate) benchmarks for posts, for example. Each platform performs differently, so each platform should have its own set of standards, but we’re still in the middle of developing those standards—“we” being any marketer using social media outlets. Marketers need to take the time to learn what works and what doesn’t work for each of their social media platforms.
Now to answer the question: These marketers were able to reduce marketing expenses with social media by generating leads in a more cost-effective way. Popular social media platforms allow marketers to get in front of their desired users through targeting—demographic, behavioral, location-based, you name it. Depending on the platform, marketers can generate leads anywhere from $1-$20 at the cost-per-click. With leads in that range, you would most definitely see a decrease in marketing budgets, but you may have to work harder for them, depending on factors like content, landing page, and campaign goals.
Q: What types of businesses or organizations stand to benefit the most from social media marketing?
Really any type of business can reap the benefits of social media marketing. SMM can be used for branding, awareness, product launch, hiring, exposing company culture and building character, connecting with customers/clients/prospects—the list of possibilities is endless. The key is to do social media right. When I say that, I’m referring to sharing the right content, engaging your audience and not directly selling yourself on the platforms. The central focus here is to remember that you are trying to help your audience, not pitch them.
Let’s pretend that you are a SaaS company. Instead of constantly offering free trials on your social media accounts, offer a case study that gives hard stats of growth and improvement that your software brought to another company (of course, get approval from the other party) or a whitepaper that offers strong industry insights and demonstrates that you’re a thought leader within the SaaS industry. Leads generated from SMM efforts within the tech industry are especially favored because people like to research and shop around. Take those leads, build a list, nurture it then close it.
Q: Do you have any tips on how marketers can use social media to make the most out of a small marketing budget?
Test everything. If you have a small budget and you’re not sure how to spend it, pick the social media platform that best aligns with your audience and desired clientele, then test your efforts.
Continuing the SaaS example, create two ads with the same copy to promote your whitepaper or case study. Build different landing pages for each ad. For each send you should vary form placement, call to actions, or buttons, and compare performance, making sure you test one variable per send. Which landing page has the higher CTR? Which landing page generated the most form submissions?
Testing saves you time and money by telling you what works for your audience and your business. It’s important to test periodically to account for changes in audience preference and other variables.